Families paying the price of lockdown - Chris Price, Tayntons Solicitors
The vaccine drive, reducing numbers of infections and the easing of restrictions mean that for many, the Easter break will bring much to celebrate and hope of normality returning to our lives.
But the social and economic effects of Covid-19 have been far reaching and, inevitably, it has taken a toll upon the family unit.
Government figures released last week confirmed domestic abuse numbers are up.
The number of child arrangements disputes within the court are at an all-time high and the steady decline in divorce numbers over the past decade appears to have been reversed - 112,356 were filed in 2020 after the figure was below 100,000 in 2019.
The last 12 months has seen an increase in enquiries and new cases for Tayntons family law department.
It is sadly the case that the global health crisis and lockdown have put extra pressure on relationships and that, as they fail, it brings an increase in disputes over the division of finances and the arrangements for children.
Of most concern is the increase in domestic abuse cases and the partners we work with in this area are reporting increasing requests for help.
We continue to deal with every case we have in a sensitive and appropriate manner, always seeking an amicable solution in the first instance but increasingly cases are proceeding to the court system.
People are naturally worried about securing their reasonable share of finances on separation and where there are children involved, ensuring an agreement or order is in place in relation to who they live with and how they will see both parents is pivotal.
In line with many firms, Tayntons has adjusted the way it provides its services.
Telephone calls and Zoom/video conferencing has become the norm for us. It actually provides a far more efficient way for clients to get advice, no longer do they need to book a face-to-face appointment and travel to our offices.
Clients can often be seen within 48 hours of their initial call and be clear on how they can be helped by us.
Where necessary and appropriate, applications on an emergency order can be applied for on the same day.
The court is also embracing the online application process and hearings by video call or telephone.
The private family team at Tayntons has also grown with Luke Stephens - previously a trainee solicitor at the firm - qualifying as the firm continues to invest in youth who embrace the company's modern approach to the law.
We appreciate that family breakdown is a very stressful experience and brings with it a huge amount of uncertainty that internet searches and advice sites can compound.
Our message is, that you should take professional advice and take it early on in the process so that you know how we can help you and if there are any steps that you should take to help yourself.
Our modern approach ensures that clients can be seen quickly and feel reassured they have the right advice in their corner.
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